How To Get Your Child A Social Security Number
The easiest way to get your child assigned a Social Security number is to apply shortly after the birth while youre still at the hospital. It doesnt cost anything and most medical providers have the necessary paperwork. During your stay, youll be asked to provide information for your babys birth certificate. At that point, youll also be asked whether you want to apply for a Social Security number for your baby. If you say yes, you need to provide each parents Social Security number.
What Is Enumeration At Birth And How Does It Work
The Enumeration at Birth program offers new parents at a hospital, birthing center, or using a licensed midwife the option to request a Social Security number during the birth registration process. The evidence required to process an SSN application for a newborn is the same evidence gathered by birthing facility employees and verified with the respective bureaus of vital statistics during the birth registration process. Through EAB, the bureaus of vital statistics electronically send birth registration information to Social Security, and we assign a number and issue a card.
EAB eliminates the need for the parent to gather the necessary proofs, complete an SS-5 application, and visit or mail original documents to a Social Security field office for processing. The EAB process allows us to assign the child an SSN, issue a card, and automatically update our records with proof of birth.
Currently, the national average processing time for EAB cases is two weeks. Parents may expect to wait up to an additional two weeks for mail time to receive the SSN card.
Secure Your Childs Social Security Number
Having a Social Security number is an important part of legal life in the United States. While most government forms and paperwork are a challenge, the Social Security number process for newborns and young children is straightforward. In fact, most parents complete the paperwork before leaving the hospital.
If youre preparing for the birth of a child, review these steps above. Knowing what to expect helps you ensure you get your childs number quickly and easily. When in doubt, contact your local Social Security Administration office.
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Applying For An Ssn When Adopting
Even if you adopt a child, you may still have to go through the social security card application process, but it all depends on the situation. For example, if the child you wish to adopt is a U.S. citizen already, they may have an SSN, so you wont have to go through the trouble. If you are adopting domestically instead, and you find out that your child doesnt have the SSN, you can get an ATIN or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number. This will allow you to claim the child-related tax breaks during the pending adoption of the child.
The IRS Form W-8A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions is necessary. Keep in mind that the ATIN will have a 2-year validity, after which you can extend it if the child adoption was not finalized. The ATIN can stop being used once the adoption is final. Then, you can use the typical process for applying for a Social Security number.
Also, if you wish to adopt a child from a different country, it is better to wait until the finalization of the adoption and the childs entrance into the U.S. to get an SSN. Once again, you will have to follow the same application process in this situation.
If Your Child Is Adopted
The Social Security Administration can assign your adopted child a Social Security number before the adoption is complete, but you may want to wait until the adoption is finalized. Then, you can apply for the number using your childs new name, with your name as parent. If you want to claim your child for tax purposes while the adoption is still pending, contact the Internal Revenue Service for Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions.
Getting a Social Security number for your child is just one of the many legal issues youll need to address for your child as they grow up. But you got this. And ARAG is here to help protect whats most important to you.
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Were There With Support If Youre Raising A Grandchild
More and more grandparents are finding themselves raising their grandchildren. Social Security will pay benefits to grandchildren when the grandparent retires, becomes disabled, or dies, if certain conditions are met. Generally, the biological parents of the child must be deceased or disabled, or the grandparent must legally adopt the grandchild.
To receive this benefit, your grandchild must have begun living with you before age 18 and received at least one half of his or her support from you for the year before the month you became entitled to retirement or disability insurance benefits, or died. Also, the natural parent of the child must not be making regular contributions to his or her support.
If your grandchild was born during the one-year period, you must have lived with and provided at least one-half of the child’s support for substantially the entire period from the date of birth to the month you became entitled to benefits.
Your grandchild may qualify for benefits under these circumstances, even if he or she is a step-grandchild. However, if you and your spouse are already receiving benefits, you would need to adopt the child for them to qualify for benefits.
Tips For Applying For The Ssn For The Newborn
- Applying for the SSN is voluntary for newborn babies.
- File for the SSN at the time of birth of the baby. The hospital will take care of everything related to filing for the birth certificate and SSN.
- At the hospital you will be required to fill a document requesting the newborn baby’s birth certificate.
- In the form, there will be an option for applying for a Social Security number for the baby.
- If you write “yes”, you must provide both parents’ Social Security numbers if you can.
- If you do not have these or one of the parents has the SSN and the other does not, you can still apply for a number for your child.
- You will get the Social Security Number for your newborn baby in mail.
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Why Get A Social Security Number For Your Child
In light of recent data concerns, many people might wonder why you need a Social Security number for your child in the first place. Its not required legally, yet many parents apply for this number before leaving the hospital. As we mentioned above, this is an important legal number to have on hand.
The most common reason to apply for this number for your child is for tax purposes. If you want to claim your child on your federal income tax, youll need to provide their Social Security number. Theyre treated the same as any other dependent.
However, this isnt the only reason to secure this number. Other common reasons include:
- Health insurance for your child
- Bank or savings account for your child
- Savings bonds for your child
- Government benefits or services
- Beneficiary purposes if you start end-of-life planning
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons to start this process for your child. Applying for a Social Security number for a newborn or even an adopted child is easier than you think. With just a few short steps, theres no reason not to get a number for your child.
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What Is The Purpose Of The Social Security Number
The Social Security number is a nine-digit number which the U.S. government issues to all U.S. citizens . Eligible U.S. residents are able to apply for one as well. This number allows the government to keep track of your lifetime earnings as well as the number of years worked.
U.S. citizens need a SSN to be able to work. An employer will always ask for the social security number, and they will report your income to the Internal Revenue Service, IRS.
Instances when a person is asked to provide their Social Security card or number also include:
- Opening an account with any U.S. financial institution
- Applying for a federal loan
- Applying for certain types of public assistance
- Enrolling in Medicare
- Filing your tax return
- Getting a drivers license
Without a Social Security number, financial institutions will not be able to run a credit check, and therefore, making it more difficult to get a credit card or a loan.
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Complete A Birth Registration Form
The easiest way to apply for your childs Social Security number is at the hospital. After your child is born, one of the parents needs to complete whats known as a birth registration form. This is how youll secure your childs birth certificate.
The hospital typically gives this form while the mother is still a patient, but you are always free to ask for one yourself during your hospital stay. On the birth registration form, theres a box to check to request a Social Security number for your child.
Learn How To Apply For Your Child’s Social Security Number
A Social Security number is the federal government’s way of identifying your child. Your child will need a Social Security number in order for you to claim child-related tax breakssuch as the dependent exemption and the child tax crediton your income taxes. You will also need the number to add your new baby to your health insurance plan, to set up a college savings plan or bank account for your child, or to apply for government benefits that could help your little one.
Here’s how to get a Social Security number for your baby.
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If You Are Adopting A Child
If the child you are adopting is a United States citizen, your child may have a Social Security number already. But if you are adopting domestically and your child does not have one, you can obtain an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number to claim child-related tax breaks while your child’s adoption is pending. To apply for one, complete IRS Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions. The ATIN will be valid for only two years, at which point you can extend it if your child’s adoption is still not final. Once the adoption is final, you must stop using the ATIN and get a Social Security number for your child following the process described above.
If you are adopting a child from another country, you will have to wait until the adoption is final and your child has entered the United States before you can obtain a Social Security number for your child. Once that happens, you can use the process described above.
Visit The Social Security Office
While the easiest way to secure your childs Social Security number is through the hospital paperwork above, not all babies are born at the hospital. Many babies are born at home or in another type of facility. Alternatively, some parents dont receive a birth request form from the hospital for some reason or another.
If any of the above applies to you, your Social Security Administration office is where you go to apply for your childs number. At your local Social Security office, youll need the following:
- Form SS-5 – This is the Application for Social Security Number. You can fill this out in advance or at the office. Its available on the Social Security Administrations website.
- Medical documents – Youll need at least two documents proving the age of your baby, their identity, and citizenship status. This is typically your childs birth certificate and medical records.
- Parent identification – Finally, bring proof of your own identity. This is usually your drivers license or passport. You must provide at least two separate documents.
You can apply for your documents in person or by mail. Because youll need to provide official or certified copies of your documents, its usually easier to apply in person. There is no charge for a Social Security card.
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New Social Security Number Or Card For Newborn Baby
In general, you can obtain a Social Security card for a newborn with the assistance of the hospital where the child is born.
The state agency that issues birth certificates will share your child’s information with us, and the SSA will mail the Social Security card to you.
If for some reason you can not work with a hospital for this, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Gather documents proving your:
- Child’s identity and
- US citizenship if you have not established the child’s US citizenship with the SSA
- Immigration status if the child is not a US citizen.
Step 2: Gather documents proving your:
Step 3: Complete an Application for a Social Security Card .
Step 4: Take or mail your completed application and documents to your local Social Security office.
All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. The SSA will not accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. Any documents you mail to us will be returned to you along with a receipt.
The SSA will mail your card as soon as they have verified all required documents. You should receive the card within 10 business days from the date on the receipt. The replacement card will have the same number as the previous card.
The SSA does not charge for a card.
There are third party services which may offer to help with Social Security card. We feel these services are similar to tax filing services. You can “do it yourself” for free or pay a service for assistance. Your choice.
How Long Does It Take To Get My Baby’s Social Security Card That I Applied For In The Hospital
Each state or jurisdiction has different processing times. See the chart below to find out how long your state takes to process the card application. If you waited the indicated length of time and still have not received your child’s Social Security card, visit your local Social Security office. You also can call us at 1-800-772-1213 , 8:00 a.m. 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you live outside the United States, refer to Service Around the World.Keep your child’s Social Security card in a safe place with other important documents. Do not carry it with you.The chart below shows the time it takes for each state to send the application and paperwork to Social Security. Allow an additional two weeks for us to send the card in the mail.Social Security Card Application at Birth: Average Processing Times by State in Weeks Quarter Ending June 2022
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Were There To Provide Comfort During Difficult Times
The loss of a parent or guardian can be both emotionally and financially difficult. Social Security helps by providing benefits to help stabilize the familys financial future. Widows, widowers, and their dependent children may be eligible for .
In fact, 98 of every 100 children could get benefits if a working parent dies. And Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other federal program.
Providing protection for parents too
Even if you have never worked in a job covered by Social Security, as a parent, there are two ways that you may still qualify for benefits.
Were There To Help If Disability Strikes
As a working parent, your earnings can become a source of Social Security protection for your family. If you retire or become disabled and unable to work, your earnings would be partially replaced by your monthly Social Security benefit payments.
A child who is disabled may depend on your help for a lifetime. When you start receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits, your family members also may be eligible for payments. If you are a parent, caregiver, or representative of a child younger than age 18 who has a disability, your child may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income payments. More information is provided in the booklet.
For children 18 years or older who have been disabled before the age of 22 and continue to be disabled, Social Security benefits may be paid to them if you retire, become disabled, or die. Social Security benefits for disabled children may continue as long as they are unable to work because of their disability.
Additionally, you can find information on the specific benefits and qualifications in the publication.
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